FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, June 01, 2006

MTV Produces TV Series for Mobile Phones

Its influential, tech-savvy audience have made MTV's productions -- Beavis and Butt-Head, Jackass and The Osbournes -- trendsetters. If its latest TV series, Sway's Hip-Hop Owner's Manual, is a similar trailblazer, it'll be with a difference -- the series is being produced especially for video-capable cell phones.

Each episode, which will explain words and phrases associated with hip-hop, will be approximately three minutes long, and will be scaled for the very small screen. And while TV shows for cell phones have been produced in Europe and Asia for some time, this is the first effort targeting 18-24-year-old Americans (the trend setters that MTV calls the "cred kids").

MTV is banking on being on the forefront of a market that could grow to $27 billion by the end of the decade, according to one estimate. However, mobile video is so new that there's no agreement on what audiences really want, or how it will make money. How, for instance, will viewers respond to ads, and what type will work? Will the "cred kids" really welcome top-down content, or are they searching for grass-roots material from their peers? And how exactly are people using mobile video? Those who examine this market note the phenomenon of "video snacking" -- watching mobile videos during brief break periods.

Source: New York Times